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Ford boss Jim Farley reiterates commitment to dealers after fears over proposed split

  • Ford CEO Jim Farley doubles down on commitment to dealer model
  • Members of dealer network worried about impact of firm’s plan to split EV sales from traditional powertrains
  • Boss says Ford is ‘going to bet on the dealer franchise system’

Time 8:15 am, March 14, 2022

Ford CEO Jim Farley has once again reiterated his commitment to dealers after concern over the company’s plans to split into two separate entities.

The boss caused shockwaves earlier this month when he unexpectedly announced that the firm will divide into two separate entities – a ‘Model e division’ and its ‘Blue division’.

The former will deal with its electric car line-up and the latter its combustion engined models.

Farley will lead both companies as CEO.

During the speech he pledged that Ford was ‘committed to car dealers for the long term’ but fears were still raised over how the move could impact sales.

Despite the worries, Farley has now doubled down on his determination to make the dealer model work within Ford’s new structure.

He said: ‘We are going to bet on the dealer franchise system.

‘That’s a different bet than I hear from others. But we’re going to do it by asking them to specialise.’

He added: ‘In the next 60 days, we’re going to be out talking to all of our dealers around the world, and developing a pithy list of standards for a new experience that’s going to be better than Tesla.’

The wooing of dealers got underway over the weekend, when Ford officials addressed the National Auto Dealers Association Show in Las Vegas.

Among the worried dealership bosses to be won over by the plans has been Marc McEver, owner of Olathe Ford Lincoln in Kansas.

He said: ‘When it was first announced, I was pretty set back. I was freaking out before I had even shaven that day.

‘After talking to some of the people at Ford, I feel a lot better. All this is pretty ingenious.’

Ford is planning to have half of its range electrified by 2030 and says it will be producing two million electric cars by 2026.

It has not been announced when the new structure will be put in place.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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